Hoops And Spooks Dominate Cable Weekend

Two weekend cable network franchises showed big efforts on the weekend -- a big NCAA March Madness game on TBS and a “Walking Dead” season finale on AMC.

AMC’s “Walking Dead” pulled in another major result -- 15.8 million overall and 10.4 million among 18-49 viewers in its fifth-season finale. It registered its highest-rated season finale; plus, it averaged 14.4 million viewers and 9.4 million 18-49 viewers over 16 episodes this season -- a 9% increase over season four.

On Saturday night, TBS pulled in 14.7 million viewers for the closely contested “Elite 8” game between Kentucky-Notre Dame -- now TBS’ best-ever rated TV show in terms of total viewers, and the highest ever cable network college basketball game.

Sunday afternoon’s NCAA March Madness doubleheader on CBS posted a Nielsen preliminary 8.6 household/18 share -- a 10% increase over last year. These late afternoon Sunday NCAA games help push up big early CBS prime-time numbers.



In the 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. time period, a combination of NCAA coverage and “60 Minutes” average a Nielsen preliminary 14.3 million viewers and 2.8 rating among 18-49 viewers; then “Madam Secretary” at around 8 p.m. took in 12.5 million viewers (and a 1.7 18-49 rating) ; later at around 9 p.m. “The Good Wife” had 9.4 million (and a 1.1 18-49 rating).

Overall, games offered by CBS, TBS, TNT, and truTV, have averaged 9.9 million viewers -- up 2% from last year and the best results in 22 years.

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